Ten years of Google Homepages: spot the differences

Posted September 7th, 2008 in Featured, search and tagged , , by Bas van den Beld

Google birthday DoodleThis month Google celebrates its ten year anniversary. Reason for many bloggers and media to stop and look back. And why not. Google has in the past decade, changed the way we all use the Internet.

For ten years, most of us almost daily open the white, quiet Google Homepage. The "original" Google homepage is still recognizable in today’s homepage, but in the course of the years more has changed than you might suspect. An overview.


Google 1998
The first Google homepage is characterized by a number of aspects. First is the exclamation point behind Google, something they no longer use, but you see at rivals Yahoo! In addition, the sentence under the searchbox: "Index contains ~ 25 million pages (soon to be bigger)”. And it got ‘bigger’ allright…

Google 1999
A year later, the homepage is very different. What strikes are of course the links below the search box but even more striking is perhaps the term "Beta" under the logo. A term widely used at Google…

Google 2000
In 2000 the exclamation mark disappears behind the name Google. What is striking is that you can choose which language you want. The bottom of the page is now more subtle. Interesting are the two dots right of the logo for the about-and the jobs page. Those were only seen in 2001.

Google 2001
In 2001 we see the entrance of two separate search items on the homepage: the Web Directory and Google Groups. The directory will not live long. 2001 is also the year of the attacks in New York, Google (of course) paid attention to that on the homepage by giving their condolences to the victims and a direct link to news items about 9-11.

Google 2002
In 2002 the homepage feels a lot calmer, perhaps it is the top tabs that have appeared. The homepage is becoming more familiar. The link to Adwords is striking.

Google 2003
In 2003 there was little change in the homepage. We see an extra tab (News), but those are all changes. Besides the number of crawled web pages. While in 2002 still 2,469,940,685 pages were indexed in 2003 its 3,083,324,652. See here the growth of the Google index.

Google 2004
In 2004, the tabs got a different look, no longer blocks but ‘normal’ links. There are also more tabs than a year before. Thus we see, among others, (the unsuccessful) Froogle. In 2004 we also see the release of Picasa.

Google 2005
In 2005 Froogle is still there, but we see another important tab appears: Local. This tab we currently see no return, local integrated into Universal Search. Any other change the font seems to be that bold to be counterproductive.

Google 2006
In 2006 for the first time we see the introduction of the ‘Personalized Home’ the current iGoogle. For the first time you can log onto the homepage of Google. The tab "Maps" is the most striking new addition.

Google 2007
The 2007- homepage is the closest to the current homepage. Most important change is the relocation of the tabs to the top left of the screen. New items are Images, Video, Mail and News and more can be shown by clicking the ‘more’ button.

Google 2008

The most notable change in 2008 is that there is no change compared with a year earlier. That is quite remarkable, because until this year each year you see changes. Or are we going to get a striking change in the coming months?

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